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Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are often grouped together as one and visited at the same time. They are actually two completely separate national parks but sitting adjacent to each other makes them both easy to visit when on a road trip of Northern California.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are both best known for their huge trees that include some of the largest living organisms in the world, plus of course an abundance of spectacular mountain scenery.

Sequoia was second only to Yellowstone to be established as a national park, whereas it took until 1940 for Kings Canyon to be designated as such, though this doesn’t mean Kings Canyon is any less impressive! Along with the breathtaking views from the mountains families can enjoy hiking and a number of specific attractions in these two parks.

The giant sequoias you’ll find here are awe inspiring, and are the largest living organisms on earth. Due to environmental factors, such as constant air pollution from LA, scientists believe that these trees are now the largest they’ll ever get as they’re growth is being limited. On many days you’ll notice how hazy the skies are above the two parks, and though it’s hard to believe a city so many miles away can have such an effect, this is air pollution from Los Angeles.

The aptly named Giant Forest is on the Sequoia side of the park where you’ll find the amazing General Sherman and five out of ten of the world’s largest trees. Until you walk underneath these beauties you can’t appreciate just how absolutely huge they are! General Sherman is said to be somewhere between 2,300 and 2,700 years old and is ‘the’ largest tree in the world. Imagine everything this tree has lived through throughout its life!

In the adjoining Kings Canyon you’ll also find huge trees and lesser crowds. The main attraction here is the General Grant Grove and General Grant Tree, the second largest in the world! Also take time to visit some of the two park’s other attractions that include the famous Tunnel Log, the Crystal Cave, Moro Rock, and Crescent Meadow.

Quick Facts
  • Kings Canyon National Park was described by naturalist John Muir as a smaller version of Yosemite National Park.
  • Sequoia National Park contains the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet.